For your benefit or theirs?
23rd November 2018
Today I want to discuss something that has always annoyed me about chains. When a chain is made properly all of the links are soldered shut. If they are not then it is considered faulty. So why would you make a chain properly and then attach the catch to it with an open link?
A brand new chain - they almost all do it!
Above is a brand new chain that I sourced for a pendant I made for a customer recently. Machine made chain is one of the few things that I cannot make myself. The companies that make chain do not always make the catches that secure them around your neck.
The catches get fitted to chains in one of the final steps. However when fitted the jump ring (circle thing) that attaches it to the chain end is almost always left open.
This jump ring can pull open and the chain end will almost always gravitate to the gap. That will cause wear in the one spot and make the jump ring even more prone to being pulled open
Why would they do this?
The story I have been told is that this is done for safety reasons. The jump ring is left open so that the chain will give way when pulled on avoiding injury to the wearer.
I do not accept that, I think they just do not want to spend the time and money to do this properly. Leaving the jump ring open allows a non skilled person to both fit and replace catches.
The first part of the video below shows how easy it is to fit a catch without soldering the jump ring closed. The rest of the video shows what is involved in soldering that jump ring closed.
What can I do?
When you buy a chain get them to solder that jump ring closed if it is open before you give them your money. It is a chain repair on a brand new chain that you should not be paying for and one that could prevent you from losing both your chain and whatever you hang from it.
Another little trick of the trade
If you ever wondered why your 9ct gold or Sterling Silver pieces of jewellery never look as yellow or white as they did when you first bought them, the answer might not be what you think.
I wrote this article a while ago about another trade practise that I dislike and consider deceptive.